41 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 22, 2010
Part I of this Article discusses the facts in People v. Weaver, the majority and dissenting opinions in the Appellate Division, Third Department, and the majority and dissenting opinions in the Court of Appeals. Part II addresses the question that has yet to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court - whether GPS tracking of a vehicle by law enforcement constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment. Part III addresses the separate question that the Court of Appeals did not address - whether the surreptitious attachment of a GPS device to a vehicle constitutes a seizure under the Fourth Amendment. The Article concludes that law enforcement’s use of a GPS device to track the movements of a vehicle continuously for an extended period of time is a serious intrusion into a motorist’s reasonable expectation of privacy that constitutes a search under the Fourth Amendment. Moreover, although the issue is somewhat murkier, the attachment of the GPS to a vehicle may constitute a seizure under the Fourth Amendment.
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